March 27, 2015
Dear Ms. Clinton,
I was intrigued to read about the list of words your volunteers consider to be “coded sexism.” The words, as I’m sure you know, are “calculating,” “polarizing,” “disingenuous,” “insincere,” “ambitious,” “inevitable,” “entitled,” “over confident,” “secretive,” “will do anything to win,” “represents the past,” and “out of touch.”
Leaving aside that some of these are actually phrases, not words (though perhaps such nit-picking represents the past, something from our long-ago college days, back when proper English usage was still considered important; today, of course, what difference, at this point, does it make?) I find it both calculating and insincere of you and your volunteers to assume such words or phrases should inevitably apply exclusively to you. It is perhaps out of touch with reality to assume such common words and phrases cannot equally be used to describe other ambitious and polarizing candidates. After all, is it not inevitable that all over-confident politicians who feel entitled to the presidency and who will do anything to win, will be described the same way, with the same words? Even if you secretly believe you are the inevitable next choice for president, it is disingenuous of you to presume these words are not part of the lingua franca applicable to everyone on Capitol Hill or Pennsylvania Avenue. Surely you are not so desperately willing to do anything to win as to pretend you have forgotten the calculated and polarizing effect of insincerely playing the “woman-as-victim” card. On the other hand, perhaps you have forgotten, because—not to indulge in too much coded sexism—in women, according to doctors, memory loss and foggy thinking are associated with post-menopausal hormonal imbalance and that can manifest itself in a variety of ways: forgetting where you parked the car; difficulty remembering to do routine tasks such as turning over all your emails as required by law; forgetting to sign the required documents upon leaving office; or forgetting that your foundation is not allowed to solicit money from foreign governments while you hold public office; all those silly little details.
On a lighter and more personal note, I do hope you are not feeling too enervated by your campaign. I’m actually slightly younger than you, even though we are both sexagenarians (closing in on becoming septuagenarians!) and I know I too would be a decrepit, geriatric wreck if I were unscrupulous enough to run for public office. After all, Hillary, we’re both senior citizens, hoary and wrinkled with our many years, and who can say whether or not we might both become incapacitated? And while we’re not quite in wheelchairs, yet, we are both grandparents, fighting off stroke and Alzheimer’s and the grave as best we can. Almost like dodging bullets at the airport in Bosnia back in the old days! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I look back at the long ago time when I was in my prime and I feel like such a doddery, enfeebled relic of an irrelevant era. It must be hard for you, in the dilapidated condition of our advancing years, to try and appear relevant once more. I admire your feisty spunk, little lady.